Helping Hands

“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm…as you grow older you will discover that you have two hands.  One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

-Audrey Hepburn

I love my daily quote calendar.  This one was from Monday, November 26th, and I thought it was a great time in the year to talk about being helpful.

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be busy and stressful.  We are encouraged to remember the “reason for the season”.  You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again….I’m not going to talk about religion.  But, I will talk about what I believe the “reason for the season” is, and how we can better continue it throughout the rest of the calendar year, and part of our everyday lives.

The thing I love about the holidays is that it brings everyone together.  We are all human, and if that’s the only thing we have in common with another person, it’s still pretty prevalent.  The holidays are supposed to help us set aside judgments, give back to our fellow man, and hopefully do something kind for others.  However, with the all too common theme of “more is better”, sometimes we lose track of the real meaning through all of the Black Friday sales, Christmas gift shopping, and bingeing on sugar cookies.

I’ve found through experience that helping others is the best and fastest way I can get out of my own head.  And, for someone who spends a lot of time in her own head, this is vital to my happiness and well-being.  See..again I’m thinking about myself.…  I also love a quote/saying about humility from Rick Warren.  “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”  So, my mission for this holiday season is thinking about myself less, and helping more.

You might be thinking “I’ve got no problem with thinking about others during the holiday.”  I’m buying presents for everyone.  I’m cooking for everyone.  I’m helping out at the homeless shelter serving meals.  To that I say, awesome job.  But, check your motives.  As stated above, I can make even a good deed about me and my ego.  Am I buying the awesome present because I know how much the other person will love it, or because I want them to know how awesome I am for giving it to them?  Am I helping out at the shelter or food pantry to post my selfie on Facebook advertising my service, or because I’m truly giving back and being selfless? 

I am far from perfect with any of this, but I love that I have been reminded of practicing humility and selflessness through a few different quotes and readings already this holiday season.  So, my mission is to use my two hands to help myself and others.  It doesn’t even have to be monumental!  Help with the dishes at a party instead of assuming someone else will do it.  Send or give a gift without a “from” tag and keep the secret to yourself.  Volunteer without acknowledgment on social media.  Whatever it is, make this season your best giving one yet, and I’ll guarantee you start 2019 as the best yet!

Jessica Hauser